Graduate Degree Programs

Graduate Program Overview

The M.A. program is a learning environment in which applicants may further develop their interests in exploring ideas and abilities to think critically. The structure of the program encourages scholarly inquiry and intellectual growth across a range of political themes. Upon completing an M.A., it is anticipated that the majority of students will enter careers in public service or for private organizations with greater analytical and critical faculties while some students will continue on with graduate work.

The doctoral program in Political Science encourages the development of broad understandings of political phenomena. It is an intellectual environment that seeks students with previously demonstrated abilities to develop further the creative and analytical skills necessary for thinking critically, conducting research, and providing original scholarship. It is a fertile environment for students who bring a wide variety of backgrounds to the study of politics and who have the competence to initiate their own investigations and to work independently. The Department, in emphasizing a problem-solving and critical perspective, expects, that students enrich their knowledge of and proficiency in several traditional elements of the discipline.

Timeline for Completion

While both M.A. and Ph.D. students are given up to seven years from their admission into the program to complete the degree, the department strongly encourages Master's students to complete the program in no more than two years and doctoral students to complete their work in no more than four. If a student cannot complete the required work within seven years they face dismissal from the program. Each year, progress towards the degree must be demonstrated. Furthermore, students must be registered for at least one credit hour every semester while in the program (excluding summers) or request an official leave of absence to avoid being dropped from the program. All degree candidates must be enrolled during the term in which the degree is awarded.

Graduate Student Guide